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The Elastic Heart Series with Atoke: Part III – Lightning Strike

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Atoke Elastic Heart{If you’ve read the preceding parts of this series, then you can skip the introduction and head on to the text after the Asterix. Or you can read it again just because… well, you don’t mind.}
I always say to Glory Edozien, “You are the love mistress. Love is your territory. You love, love.” It is true; Glory IS the love queen. She has this glow when she talks about matters of the heart. Me? Not quite. I don’t care. My love is my writing. My heart? Chained away, padlocked and frozen.

So, when I found myself in a Situationship, I struggled with confronting the realisation that this is what was actually going on.

Wait, you don’t know what a Situationship is? Where were you when Isio Wanogho and Uru Eke were talking about it here on BN? Tsk, Tsk! Okay, I’ll help you out:

Aidanneal.com properly captures it:
“A situationship is basically a pseudo-relationship. A placebo masking itself as a formative relationship. It smells like a relationship, it sorta looks like a relationship, and it may even feel like one, but it’s not. Urban Dictionary describes a situationship as any problematic relationship characterised by one or more unresolved, interpersonal conflicts. usually confused with dating.”

All caught up now? Good!

A situationship is that halfway place between talking and being in a relationship. It’s sha a whole lot of rocking chair style techniques. (No, not sexual, you perv!) I mean, it gives you so much to do, but takes you NO WHERE!

You’re talking to this person but you don’t really want to ask that dreaded question because you don’t want to come across as an Eager Beaver. So you just let the absence of definition drag on and on and on! Till you find yourself broken hearted. Then you’re told “But we were not in a relationship, ke!”

Dearly beloved, I’m here to preach one word of Rhema to you today…It is very okay to ask that question. The Love Queen, Glory Edozien also confirms it. In any case, once you’re in your 30s, you have the carte blanche to do anything you want to. You know why?

Because you’re an ADULT!

So, since I’m such a tough talker and a know-it-all, why did I fall into this pit of despair and become a bumbling mess when I asked the “what do you want with me?” question and got the “friendship!” response?

I was still going to be a strong woman, okay? I wasn’t going to let a man use me emotionally and tell me he just wants to be friend. No! I stood in my room, with all the righteous indignation in the world.

“I am going to need to dial this back a whole lot! I can’t do the kind of friendship you want.” I beat my chest King Kong style and decided to cut the man off!

The Elastic Heart Series is the result of my decision. It chronicles my walk through the pain of trying to clutch myself back from my Situationship. It has been a long, arduous journey and I hope that nobody will ever tell you that it is easy.

Because, that sh*t hurts so bad.
My emotions Yo-Yo’d from happiness, to relief, to anger, and back to intense sadness. Days of tears soaking my pillow, and me trying to muffle my sobs because I didn’t want my roommate to think this strong girl had somehow crumbled. I feel a little better now, and I’ve decided to share my experience in a 5-part series. If you have never heard Elastic Heart by Sia, please get acquainted, because this song got me through this very difficult period. I may not be as strong as I thought I was, but now I realise that what I have is an Elastic Heart.

I hope you enjoy this series and I hope it helps somebody.

***
I think the hardest part of Cold Turkey is waiting for that glorious morning when it will no longer hurt. I know this because I’ve walked down this path before.

It sucks.

I miss you.

I wish I could do more than write my feelings on my computer.
I want to talk to you.

This is so weird. Me, wanting to talk to you so badly.

Today, I realised that I’m not just emotionally exhausted, I’m physically exhausted too. Physically exhausted from trying to keep busy so I don’t think about you.

I also think that I miss you so much that it actually hurts. My chest burns from wondering if you’re fine.

Did he watch Dating Naked without me yesterday? I asked this question over and over till I realised it really wasn’t healthy to assume that I mattered so much.

But did you watch Dating Naked yesterday? Did you feel a teeny bit of regret that I wasn’t there to laugh with you?

Okay, so I know I said (in my other notes to you – which you will never see) Oh see now, I lost my train of thought.

Oya, I’ve found it. My thoughts are so disjointed and all over the place now. I’m working so hard to remain focused on one thing – to be compartmentalised like you.

Compartments.

Rigid walls.

Borders.

That State line that separates us.

I know I said I’m not going to ask you to walk me through the issues you have with distance. But I have to ask.

Wait.

I live an hour away. That’s not quite true sha, okay… 90 minutes away. Tops.

“My brain shuts down when I hear distance” – I can hear your voice ringing in my head.

Okay, wait, let me state the facts as I see them.

It is probably foolish to start a relationship with someone who lives in another city. I mean it’s difficult enough when you’re together and work takes you away. I mean it is SIMPLY foolish to enter a relationship with a woman in her mid 30s (you know those old girls… any small thing now they will start saying time is going! Going to where, only God knows)

So, I get it. You don’t want to do that.

Secondly, it is also foolish to get into a relationship with someone you don’t even really know like that. You know, the only things you know about me are things I’ve told you about myself or maybe you’ve deduced from our gazzilion conversations. Maybe I made the good things up. I am after all a great writer (‘brilliant’ is the word actually, but now is not the time for trumpet blowing.)

You’re cautious and methodical. You’re not rash and you’re not stupid. You also do not NEED me.

I don’t NEED you either, but I want you. No, not sexually. Sex isn’t everything. It is key, sha! 

I like that you make me laugh. I don’t lack that in my life, but your quiet, almost unassuming way of doing it is so glorious. I want that. I want it a lot.

I like that you’re geeky, and dorky, and unworldly (You think you are quite the man of the world. That bit is cute, too. I just look at you and laugh… see this one!! Ki lo mo?) You remind me a lot of me. Reticent outside, but such a surprising box of wahala on the inside. I like that I don’t have to pretend to have it all together when I’m talking to you.

So, tell me… what exactly about this distance is the issue? (asides the issues I’ve listed above – which are really BIG issues, if you ask me – but I’m still open to trying. You’re not. Why don’t you want to try?)

I’m not asking for too much. Am I?

You know, at first I went through this angry phase of righteous indignation of “How far is my city to yours gan sef? Alainikan shey ni Bobo yen!” Then, I refocused and thought, “Sisi, that’s selfish. If any travelling is going to be done, he’ll probably have to do a lot of it. He has to know this is what he wants. And if he doesn’t, it’s justifiable.”

So I’m not in a tizzy fit over it any more.

It still stings a little that you disenfranchised me because of my location sha… when I didn’t disenfranchise you for being a Nigerian, church-goer.

*sigh* Life is just not fair.

I do think we have something magical sha. And we’re getting it in our old age… so very little chance we’ll f*ck things up with unrealistic expectations.

Well, I won’t.

Lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same spot, Mr. Man

Cheap ThrillsSia

Photo CreditCharity Adetiba-Howard

You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website atoke.com for more information.

11 Comments

  1. Sisi

    August 24, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Atoke babes, keep em coming. It’s nice to see someones thought process of a situation so many go through set out like this. It’s ok to feel this way and to ask these questions, a lot of the time however it’s best to never know the answers. One quick question – not sure of the timelines and how you currently feel and if in fact you are still single, if this bobo saw your words and they provoked the need for a conversation that could possible start things back up again would you consider or is that door closed, borders drawn?

  2. busola

    August 24, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    This bobo really did you strong thing oo… You love him! Infact, my heart breaks on your behalf as per… fellow lover-girl. Seriously, I do wish for you the kind of love you crave.

  3. ruhamah

    August 24, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    captivating

  4. Ezinne

    August 24, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Na wa ohh Atoke, these bants odikwa serious,
    Eezzz not even a joking sturvs, some one can not play with you…………………………

  5. Ninny

    August 24, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    you really love the bobo gann. Part 111!!
    I will just sit here and be waiting for Part X… Babes…HBP is real oo…I kent shout

  6. Ann

    August 24, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    It might sound harsh but the truth is long distance is not an excuse…whatever excuse he made was just to soften the blow of “I am not that into you”. I recently came out of a situationship myself so i resonate with all the emotions you are feeling. However, i know i am better off feeling lonely sometimes and knowing where i stand with him. It amazes me to think how confused and frustrated i would have been if i didnt go cold turkey in April…would i still be hanging on to an illusion till now? That thought IS WAY MORE SCARY than my present situation. I find myself getting better with each day…to every lady getting through..i say IT GETS BETTER WITH TIME…Dont be too hard on yourself and dont be too soft either..

  7. x-factor

    August 24, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    hmmnnn….I know this address trust me,
    I used to live in House Number 1 Situation-ship Avenue

    • MzChyka

      August 24, 2016 at 9:07 pm

      @ x-factor…I almost moved in to this street last week
      Deep…details!!! interesting Read. This looks like a note to my future self (if I ever let this my current bobo in) hmmm

    • Quintessential African

      August 25, 2016 at 9:45 am

      Hahaha. I own the land where the house is built!

      Of all the articles on love and relationships, I have truly appreciated Atoke, Uru and Isio. Like, they just hit the spot for me!

      Anyway, I haven’t really had a “we can’t work cause of distance” situationship, so I’ll save my contribution for another relatable article. Thanks Atoke!

  8. purplieciousbabe

    August 24, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Deep…
    slowly awaiting the rest. x

  9. Naijatalk

    August 24, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Atoke love, I’m glad this is cathartic for you; very positive sign. Sending you e-hugs and kisses.
    I admit I am a learner when it comes to situationships; didn’t even know the term existed so than you for the lessons learned and I’m sure many of us readers appreciate your vulnerability – this is strength my dear.

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